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Miscommunication in the Workplace

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Miscommunication in the Workplace

Miscommunication in the Workplace
The miscommunication I have experienced with work is a recent one. The first week of February I received my orders to attend the traffic management and collision investigation school aboard Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio Texas. The orders specifically stated that I was supposed to apply for funding that covers on-base lodging and that I request a single room due to the amount of work required during the course. So I applied and received funding for lodging and daily per diem for food. Early last week I was sent an email from the Marine Corps liaison here aboard Lackland Air Force Base, a Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant, regarding the rules and regulation for the Traffic Management and Collision Investigation School. The letter stated that Sergeants and below MUST stay in the barracks, where lodging is free, due to lack of government funding. It also stated in the letter that there would be no exceptions to this rule and if marines attending this school had already received funding that it must be paid back to TECOM (Testing and Evaluation Command) upon our return to our home duty stations.
Upon arrival to San Antonio I checked into the barracks aboard Lackland AFB. Knowing that I had obligations and responsibilities to the University of Phoenix and to my team mates in class I quickly checked for a Wi-Fi signal available in the barracks. Unfortunately, to my surprise, there was no signal at all. Since all marines here aboard Lackland AFB are temporary personnel, they do not provide cable or internet. This was a huge setback for me, given my new obligation taking online classes. During the check in process I was told, to my relief, that there were no rooms available and that I would have to stay in on-base lodging; which is essentially a hotel aboard base. This hotel is not free. I quickly contacted my chain of command here and notified them of the non-availability in the barracks. The Marine Corps liaison instructed me to check into the Gateway Inn (on-base lodging) and that he would ensure my TECOM funding was approved.
The very next day the liaison informed me that I must return to the barracks and that he had contacted the barracks and found a room I could stay in. I followed the orders and packed up all of my belongings again and headed back to the barracks. Returning to the barracks I was informed that there were no male rooms available. Immediately I contacted the liaison and informed him of what I had been told. He instructed me to stay in the female room until another male room became available. He told me that the Commanding Officer had ordered him to ensure that I was not staying in on-base lodging due to lack of government funding. I asked the Gunnery Sergeant to consider that I had substantial homework to complete in my college class with Phoenix and that the barracks does not provide internet. He said ‘there is nothing I can do for you.”
After all of this had taken place, I returned to the barracks. I noticed there was a letter regarding marines on funded orders taped to each hallway door inside the barracks. After reading this letter, which was placed there only moments before my arrival that day, I realized that there is a serious lack of communication regarding the leadership here and multi-branch cohesion. The letter stated that ALL marines on funded orders, which I have, are to turn in their barracks room keys and check into the Gateway Inn. Again, I contacted the Marine Corps liaison and gave him the news about the letter. The next day I was checked back into the on base hotel and I was relieved that I had internet access.
This was a melting pot of miscommunication from both the Marine Corps and the Air Force that, unfortunately, I had to suffer through. This kind of misunderstanding is unacceptable and something must be done about it. The letter that was posted on the doors of the barracks was from the only other senior enlisted marine aboard this instillation; the one other marine on this base that shares an office with the Marine Corps liaison, which is also a senior enlisted marine. This was a huge misunderstanding and lack of communication between two highly ranked individuals that breathe the same air day in and day out. The lack of passing information up the chain of command or down is the major cause of this misunderstanding. If the Gunnery Sergeant had informed his chain of command of my situation, he would have quickly found out that ALL marines on funded orders were to stay in the Gateway Inn. Instead, he just contacted the barracks manager and asked if rooms were available. If the Commanding Officer of the Marine Corps detachment here in Lackland had passed that information down his chain of command, this issue would have never arose.
Learning from this misunderstanding has given me new light on being in the military. This is definitely not the first time something like this has happened, and it probably won’t be the last. What I can guarantee is that it will not happen again after March of next year. I will be honorably discharged on my End of Active Service date. In the military, junior members are only a number. You have no first name and you do not have an active or persuasive voice in the majority of decisions. The lack of control and freedom is something I am not willing to sacrifice any longer. I think with my personality and view on life I can contribute more to society by maintaining a family and being my own boss.

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